Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa is seeking eight members of the public to join him on the first private flight to the moon.
Maezawa announced his unusual talent search in a video with SpaceX head Elon Musk. The clothing tycoon behind Zozo plans to fly on SpaceX’s first private lunar flight and he hopes to cover the costs for eight everyday people to join him. The contest, called dearMoon, was announced by Maezawa on Twitter today.
Maezawa purchased all the seats for the 2023 mission in 2018. Initially, he planned to fill the plane with artists but now he has expanded his search to include anyone who feels that they could advance their craft by going into space.
“I wanted to reach out to a wider more diverse audience,” he told NBC News. “If you see yourself as an artist then you are an artist.”
Beyond being a first for a non-governmental space flight, Musk hopes that the flight will set a new high-water mark in space travel. He said the flight’s path will take it farther from the Earth than the Apollo missions, officially making it the farthest a human has traveled away from Earth.
“This mission we expect people will go further than any human has ever gone from planet Earth,” Musk said of the project.
They expect the flight to take three days to reach the moon, loop around the celestial body and take another three days to return. The pre-registration for the contest is already open and runs through March 14.
It’s the second bit of “rich people in near-Earth orbit” news in the last week, as another company announced plans to get an outer space hotel up and running by 2027. Orbital Assembly Corporation shared its idea for a state-of-the-art hotel just outside the atmosphere to kick off this month.